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Why does embryonic arrest sometimes happen during in vitro development?

Many factors can intervene in arrest processes during embryo development which mean cell division is detained and, therefore, it is not possible to implant the embryo in the mother’s uterus and bring about a pregnancy.
In the first instance, the conditions for development are essential.  Embryos that develop in vitro are subjected to a number of artificial conditions that do not exist in vivo and which will always be less than optimum. Embryos which were apparently viable can suffer embryonic arrest. Huge efforts have been made over the last few years to try and mimic what happens inside the mother and replicate those conditions in laboratory processes.  Most of all, the concentration of oxygen in incubators has been reduced, going from 20% down to 5%. The composition of the culture means has also been improved. This, along with exhaustive monitoring of pH and osmotic concentration, means that we can routinely carry out prolonged embryo development up to blastocyst stage in order to achieve improved embryo selection and increase pregnancy rates. […]

Can I choose the sex of my embryos when I undergo embryo transfer?

The human genome consists of 46 chromosomes: 23 of these are inherited from our father and the other 23 are inherited from our mother. Our organism’s entire genetic make-up is stored in these chromosomes. The 23 pairs are organised as follows: 22 pairs, known as autosomes, and one pair of sex chromosomes (X and Y) which differentiate the two sexes (XY for males and XX for females).
From a technical point of view, using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, we have the means of analysing an embryo’s entire chromosomal make-up. This technique, which is known as CCS (Comprehensive Chromosome Screening), means additional or a lack of any chromosomes in the embryo can be detected. Therefore, we can use CCS to analyse the entire make-up of the embryo and determine that there are neither DNA excesses nor deficiencies which will stop the embryo from developing properly. But, if we focus on the sex chromosomes, we can also determine if the analysed embryo has two X chromosomes and will, therefore, be a girl (XX) or one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (XY) and will be a boy. […]

Vasectomies: the male contraceptive

Vasectomies are the most reliable method of male contraception and an estimated 40 to 60 million men worldwide have chosen to have one.  They are the most widely used contraceptive method for men looking to achieve permanent sterility for family planning or personal reasons.
The procedure should be thought of as irreversible. It has a low complications rate and failure is very infrequent. A vasectomy does not begin to work immediately and couples need to continue to use contraceptives until absolute sterility has been achieved. Vasectomies are safe and do not have any side effects or cause serious illness in the long term. It is a method that is used for avoiding pregnancy in long standing relationships but also as a personal sterility method in men who are not in a relationship (those who have separated, divorcees or widowers) but who do have sexual intercourse or, even when they are in a relationship, do not wish to have more children. […]

By |10 de June de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, News, Pregnancy, Sterility, Urology|0 Comments

The 600 recessive disorders detected by the Genetic Compatibility Test (GCT)

Nowadays, all couples who wish to avoid passing on genetic disorders to their children can choose to do so through a Genetic Compatibility Test (GCT), also known as Prenatal Recessive Disorder Screening.
The Instituto Bernabeu GCT is a groundbreaking analysis that uses next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) through which we study 555 genetic mutations which cause over 600 autosomal recessive disorders in a simple blood sample.

Please see below the list of mutations analysed by the GCT we do at INSTITUTO BERNABEU:
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The immune system and pregnancy

Numerous factors are involved in making the amazing miracle of pregnancy possible. Many of them are very well understood whilst others, such as the immune system and its role in embryo implantation, given their importance, are still being studied and researched in depth. If the immune system is what protects the body against infection and diseases thanks to its defences, what role does it play in achieving pregnancy? […]

Poor Ovarian Response: progress in genetics

Ovarian stimulation is key in results obtained as a results of assisted reproduction techniques. Daily clinical practice shows us that ovarian response can vary substantially from one woman to another. With this in mind, we can diagnose a patient as a poor responder when three eggs or less are obtained.
This situation affects more and more women every day. They require specialised healthcare and personalised protocols and, in response to this need, Instituto Bernabeu has a Poor Ovarian Response Unit that deals with multidisciplinary diagnosis and treatment.
For patients under this category, obtaining one or more eggs can mean the difference between failure and pregnancy and this makes any steps taken to increase the number of available eggs absolutely essential. […]

Recurrent pregnancy loss: an issue that does have a solution

Clearly one of the most difficult situations a couple trying for children may have to face is pregnancy loss. Suffering is even greater when, prior to this, the couple has gone through fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilisation, insemination or egg donation.
Pregnancy loss is not always the result of an illness or underlying abnormality. It can be the response nature provides in order to block the development of an abnormal embryo. In fact, when the tissue from the pregnancy loss is examined, a large number of chromosomal abnormalities can be detected. […]

State of the art technology in preimplantation embryo diagnosis: Array-CGH

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is the study of chromosomal and genetic abnormalities in embryos before they are transferred to the mother’s uterus by an In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technique. It seeks to ensure healthy offspring and stop transmission of a given disease. […]

What does embryo biopsy involve?

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a tool designed to “get to know” the embryos genetically before they are transferred into the mother’s uterus. Thanks to this technique, we can study their chromosome count and find out if they are carriers of a hereditary disease. This information helps us to select the embryos that will produce healthy babies. Yet, how can we find that information?
Today, the only way to find genetic information about embryos is by performing an embryo biopsy. What does embryo biopsy involve?
To explain the biopsy procedure we should keep in mind that our point of departure is EMBRYOS. Embryos are retrieved after performing an assisted reproduction cycle, preferably by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and their development is assessed during the culture period until day 3 or day 5. […]

Usefulness of the Karyotype

The karyotype is the number of chromosomes in metaphase that we have. Chromosome count and therefore karyotype are characteristic to each species. Human beings have 46 chromosomes (23 pairs) in the nucleus of each cell in their body. These 23 pairs are organised into 22 pairs termed autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes (X and Y) that differentiates both sexes (men XY and women XX). […]